CNN BREAKING NEWS
Subway Workers Discuss Power Outage
Aired August 14, 2003 - 18:53 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: And we want to follow up on that very theme and bring in one of those people of New York forced to deal with this crisis, this situation this afternoon. Dexter Grant of the Metropolitan Transit Authority joins us now on the telephone.
Dexter, you were in one of the most hardly affected areas -- hard-hit areas, I should say, when the lights went out. Tell us.
DEXTER GRANT, MTA WORKER, SUBWAY: Yes. I was -- I'm a motorman for the New York City Transit Authority, or a train operator, as they call it. I was driving a subway train, and we were underground at the time, and all the signals went out and all the lights and the power went out.
KING: Dexter, I lost you for just a second there. Can you tell me how many people were on your car and how it was that you had to help them?
GRANT: OK. It was maybe about maybe 200 to 300 people that was on the train, and we had to evacuate the train through the tunnels. We took the people off, helped the people off the train, down a ladder on the front of the train and out through emergency exits.
KING: Now, do you have communication with the outside world, the MTA, at that point, or are you just acting on protocols in your training?
GRANT: No, we have -- we do have communications with the command center, and we talk to them via the radio and ask -- get instructions and permission. We had to get permission and instructions to evacuate the train.
KING: And Dexter, have you had any communications with the office, if you will, just yet? The mayor says they're trying to bring the power back up. Any indication at all as to when the MTA will be back up and running?
GRANT: Well, we have a wayside radio, and we're listening in to the wayside radio for any information if the power comes back on. And if the power comes back on, they'll call us by the radio and let us know what to do.
KING: And Dexter, anything in how you handled this situation that is different from how you would have handled this situation had it happened prior to September 11, 2001?
GRANT: No, basically, we probably would have handled it, like, the same way, just keeping the people calm, keeping them informed, and just moving everybody off the train slow and surely out the exits.
KING: Well, Dexter Grant, we thank you for sharing your experience with us. And I'm sure that 200 to 300 people on that train thank you, as well, for your help in a chaotic situation earlier today in New York City.
As we continue to watch this breaking news -- and you're seeing tape here of people coming out of the subway system -- obviously, a critical transportation system in New York City paralyzed by this outage earlier today. Dexter Grant among those helping people stay calm and get up into the daylight.
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